“Sometimes I look at my children and wonder if they are really my children, ” Mahym says looking at her two boys, and adds, “but then I see myself in them and feel happy. Time flies so fast, I cannot believe this all is happening with me!”

Mahym Ovezova was born in 1991, a year of significant changes when 15 countries, that used to be one, were going through a collapse of bonds and a growth of borders. She was born in Mary, Turkmenistan, a town known for its cotton fields during Soviet Times, supplying the entire union with cotton goods. Today the region continues cotton production.

Mahym is an embroiderer, who works from home, like many other young women in Turkmenistan.

She dreams of an atelier, where she will be able to work, grow, and build her network. In Turkmenistan, there is a high competition for embroidery work as many women wear handmade clothing, and Mahym sees potential in growing in this direction. Thus, together with her brother, she studies modern professional computer programs for embroidery to create her own schemes and designs. 

This story was part of a cross-border project “The Last Emperors, ” dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the USSR. To see an entire project please follow the link, here.